Mark Hamill Never Thought Star Wars Would Be Successful

Mark Hamill Never Thought Star Wars Would Be Successful

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Make a wish; you may get a chance to meet the man who made the Force. But as for who's in the movie ...

"I didn't expect it [Star Wars] to be a critical success," Mark Hamill tells Reddit, in an AMA. Cult status, sure, midnight movie showings, absolutely, but anything beyond that seemed impossible, in the galaxy far, far away that was 1977. "I thought it would be popular but never thought it would be on the cover of Time magazine."

As for being famous, Hamill still can't wrap his head around that, even after all this time. In his head, he's still the guy who wasn't sure he was going to be an actor. "Luke is immortal and I'm just an actor who got the honor to play him," is his take on what's happened so far.

But if you're wondering who's in that movie, either Hamill really doesn't know, or he's got too much hero in him to let important secrets like that slip. The only character he knows for sure is returning for the sequel is R2-D2. "He hasn't stopped beeping about it."

Villains are a lot more fun to play, says Hamill, who had his eye on Darth Vader's part, in a wistful its-never-gonna-happen kind of way back in 1977. That was one of the reasons he went for the Joker role - comic fanboy that he is - but he never figured the producers would take the guy who played Skywalker seriously. The galaxy's greatest hero playing Gotham's most evil villain? Never.

"I felt cocky when I left [the audtion] and thought 'That's the best Joker they are every going to hear - too bad they can't hire me.' And then two weeks later when they called and said I got the job I immediately lost my confidence." Standout memory of the Joker? His a capella Only You, which most of you probably remember from Arkham City.

Hamill decided to leap into Reddit before the launch of the Star Wars movie to promote a project of his own: a make-a-wish drive. The winner gets to meet George Lucas at Skywalker Ranch, and then head out to Nerdist Studios to spend some time with Hamill. $10 a pop, minimum, but it's a great charity and worth supporting.

Source: Reddit Hamill AMA

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I've always respected Mark Hamill. Having met him on multiple occasions (both con and non-con related) he's a very humble man about his lot in life. He knows his success was a fluke (pun?) but he's not above using it to do things he really enjoys. And his Joker was hands down the BEST. But mostly he really is a wonderful human being and an all around nice guy who takes his fame in stride and isn't above joking about his titular role (see: Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back).
I am sad that he's since departed from voicing the Joker, but I respect the decision. All in all an awesome human being who truly gives his time to his fans without complaint or attitude. Exemplary attitude.
And I agree he does make an awesome villain...

I agree with Hamill. It blew my mind when I realized that Luke Skywalker voiced the Joker! I just couldn't wrap my head around that.

Though, I know he has voiced several villains. Fire Lord Ozai being just one more example. And it is kinda awesome to know how many great characters he is the voice behind.

As for the idea of Star Wars being popular, I know it was sort of a surprise. Before movies like Star Wars, there really weren't movies like Star Wars. And it's success had some far reaching effects. Not just on the type of movies that got made but I've heard it said that without Star Wars, several directors we all know and love would probably never have gotten a chance. Imagine a world without Steven Spielberg or James Cameron.

That being said, I was born long after Star Wars was a huge hit. I grew up watching the films with my parents who loved the films. I really can't imagine a world where Star Wars wasn't a huge hit. A world where Star Wars didn't have shows, games, comics, and wasn't a huge impact on our culture.

What would you people do if you met Lucas? I'd probably shake his hand, then slap his face.

Just shake his hand, no slaps.

I think teh internets have put those terrible prequels behind them. Sorta. Maybe.

Just remember all the good things he helped create (Lucasarts, c'mon!)

I know it is fact, but I STILL can't properly rationalize the Joker's voice coming from Luke Skywalker's lips.

I find it interesting that Sir Alec Guinness, who played Obi-Wan Kenobi, pretty much hated Star Wars as some juvenile kid's fantasy paycheck and he was SIR Alec Guinness with Oscar-winning films. He considered it slumming it at the time.

Though, back on topic, Mark Hamill needs more recognition and credit for Wing Commander.

Am I the only one who watched Empire of Dreams here?

NO-ONE thought Star Wars would be successful. The production was a disaster. Everyone predicted doom for Star Wars, especially the people working on Star Wars. One of my favourite quotes from the documentary is when one of the guys on the effects team (I think Joe Johnston? I can't remember) said he thought the film was made by different people when he watched it, a disbelieving "who worked on this film??"

Star Wars was a happy, almost calculated miracle in which several very, very talented people all contributed to a whole that would have been nothing without any one of its disparate elements. From George Lucas to John Williams to ILM to the actors to the editors. A true collaboration that was garbage until assembled. A real feelgood success story, too.

Id totally pay to meet Lucas ...Though it shows how small & immature some people are. He did a mediocre trilogy *then the prequels*, sold it to Disney, then took that money and handed 4 BILLION to charity ...Thats pretty damn petty to still hate the guy over something he got to devote his craft to. Unlike the original 3 which had 21st century fox's corporate claws all over it.

Andy of Comix Inc:
Am I the only one who watched Empire of Dreams here?

NO-ONE thought Star Wars would be successful. The production was a disaster. Everyone predicted doom for Star Wars, especially the people working on Star Wars.

I dunno if it was Empire of Dreams, but I did see a documentary on the movie's production that pretty much said that exactly. It's really no surprise that Hamill felt that way since just about everybody thought the film would fail.

I was amazed by his Joker, then amazed again the other day when I discovered he is Skips on Regular Show. I've never been a Star Wars guy but that dude can spin his voice, so props to him.

No one thought it would be successful. This has been known for decades.

And a thought to his other VA work (I just watched The Castle in the Sky last sunday, where he plays the main villain and plays him really well) and, as said above, Wing Commander, where he was nothing short than awesome (watch some videos of Wing Commander IV and tell me you wouldn't dream of him playing an older Luke then, I dare you).

"I'm Walt Disney. I'm here to resurrect you!"

"You're who?"

"I've got you botox injection, I'm here with the rest of the derdged up former cast!"

Branindain:
I was amazed by his Joker, then amazed again the other day when I discovered he is Skips on Regular Show. I've never been a Star Wars guy but that dude can spin his voice, so props to him.

He also played the fear demon in one episode of adventure time and the main villain of avatar the last airbender,I'm surprised how many voices he has.

Andy of Comix Inc:
Am I the only one who watched Empire of Dreams here?

NO-ONE thought Star Wars would be successful. The production was a disaster. Everyone predicted doom for Star Wars, especially the people working on Star Wars. One of my favourite quotes from the documentary is when one of the guys on the effects team (I think Joe Johnston? I can't remember) said he thought the film was made by different people when he watched it, a disbelieving "who worked on this film??"

Star Wars was a happy, almost calculated miracle in which several very, very talented people all contributed to a whole that would have been nothing without any one of its disparate elements. From George Lucas to John Williams to ILM to the actors to the editors. A true collaboration that was garbage until assembled. A real feelgood success story, too.

This exactly! No one thought it was going to be any good.

One a side note, my film teacher's favourite story to tell us was how Lucas and Spielberg showed the film to a bunch of industry people before Willams' score was added. They were told that they were fools to continue the project and it would flop. Then they scored it and showed it again. The execs went nuts for it after that.

Sgt. Sykes:
What would you people do if you met Lucas? I'd probably shake his hand, then slap his face.

I thought the same, but then realized that I'd have far too many questions to resort to violence.

Maybe it's because I've never actually watched Star Wars, but I was completely unaware that was Mark Hamill....and now I know.

unLucky500:
One a side note, my film teacher's favourite story to tell us was how Lucas and Spielberg showed the film to a bunch of industry people before Willams' score was added. They were told that they were fools to continue the project and it would flop. Then they scored it and showed it again. The execs went nuts for it after that.

In an interview with... bizarrely, Seth MacFarlane of all people (for the Family Guy Star Wars parody special things), George Lucas confirmed that was a myth. What was not a myth was that they early screened the film without any of the special effects added in, but it was to a bunch of Lucas' friends and peers, not executives. Granted, those peers did include people like Brian de Palma and Francis Ford Coppola.

Regardless, no-one thought the film would do any good anyway. I think George Lucas went on record as saying the only thing that "surpassed his expectations" was Williams' score, and certainly the film was indeed made exceedingly better for it.

Really, who THOUGHT it was going to be a hit? Even Lucas didn't. No one thought Star Wars was going to be such an iconic thing. I have loads of respect for Mark Hamill though. He's taking the best of, what'd I call, a bad situation. I don't think he'll ever get a big live role outside of himself, Luke Skywalker or parodies of such (such as in Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back), but he's still doing his best to make an impression on whatever he can do; like voice acting.

Also:

I have no interest in meeting a business man. Because that's all Lucas is to me... not a particularly good director and an actually terrible writer... but he is a notable business man.

That's why I like Hamill he's a cool guy who's totally honest about how surprised he was at his success, and then his success as the joker really shows he's a pretty good actor. It's a bit of a shame that he really hasn't acted in anything live action for the most part, I think he could be a really good villain now he'd certainly enjoy it and that would make it fun to watch no matter what.

 

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